Tuesday, November 24, 2009

1 chicken - three meals - no pictures

I decided that I really wanted to roast a chicken. The Saturday before thanksgiving. I think it was all the recipe searching getting to me. So... I roasted a chicken with a bunch of veggies (first shout-out to Ina of this post). For TWO. This left us with a ton of chicken and roasted veggies left over, but I was determined not to waste any of it! The chicken got chopped up and turned into chicken salad (Mr. L did the chopping - hooray!). The veggies got thrown in the food processor with chicken broth and turned into soup (thanks Ina, for that great idea!)

I have made a variation of this chicken salad before, but with much larger pieces. This time, we (Mr. L) chopped everything up much smaller, and I think that the result had a much more universal appeal. I still love it both ways, of course; but I think I'll stick with the smaller chunks when I'm sharing it.

There are no pictures today, because the roast and the chicken salad were devoured before we had a chance to take pictures (we were hungry). The may be pictures of the soup after thanksgiving; I blended it all today, and I'll heat it later this week to serve with Thanksgiving dinner.

Perfect Roast Chicken (modified from Ina Garten)


1 (5-6lb) roasting chicken
bunch (plus 20 sprigs) thyme
1 lemon, halved
1 head of garlic, halved
2 tbs melted butter
3-4 stalks of celery, chopped into large pieces
3 white sweet potatoes, chopped
4-5 carrots, chopped
(onions would have been great, but I forgot to added one)
1 orange pepper
1 red pepper
3 zucchini, sliced


Preheat oven to 425.
Remove chicken giblets. (I saved them for my pup)
Wash chicken inside and out.
Remove any extra fat or pinfeathers.
Pat outside of chicken dry.
Liberally salt and pepper inside of chicken.
Stuff cavity with bunch of thyme, lemon and garlic.
Brush outside of chicken with butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Tie legs together with string (I couldn't find any, so I skewered them together, and tuck wings under chicken.
Place veggies in roasting pan, toss with remaining thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
Spread veggies around the bottom of the roasting pan, and place chicken on top.
Roast for 1.5 hours.
Remove from oven, and cover. Let sit for 20 minutes before carving.

Chicken Salad

Ingredients (these measurements are approximate)

2 c chopped chicken
1 tbs relish
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1 c mayonnaise
1/2 c chopped apple (I think we used red Delicious, and left the skin on)
1/2 c chopped walnuts (or pecans)


Dump everything in a bowl and stir until combined.
Serve with ritz or on a sandwich.

Roasted Veggie Soup


4 c Chicken Stock
2 c Water
4 c Leftover Roasted Veggies
1 Bay Leaf


Combine half of stock, water and veggies in blender.
Combine other half in blender.
Put both mixtures and bay leaf in a pot.
Bring to gentle simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove bay leaf, and season to taste.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

I had the whole post typed up and ready to go with tonight's dinner - Loaded Baked Potato Soup (from Kraft). But I deleted it. Intentionally. It wasn't worth taking a picture of, and it wasn't worth sharing the recipe. The only good part was the toppings... which were predicable and could be used on a much better potato soup recipe. This one was flavorless, and way too thin for my taste. Bleh.

Butternut and Acorn Squash Soup with Herb and Gruyere Scones

Butternut And Acorn Squash Soup (from tartelette)

Serves 4 hungry people


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes (seeds scooped out & saved)
1 small acorn squash, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
3 cloves or garlic, peeled and smashed (don't worry about mincing)
4 cups chicken stock
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh thyme (or less if desired. You can also use some sage)
salt and pepper

Optional accompaniments:
chopped Tai chilies
creme fraiche (or sour cream)
sauteed thick cut bacon or salted and cured pork, sliced thin
seeds from one of the squashes (saute in the bacon fat for maximum flavor, and drained on paper towels)


In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the cubed squashes and saute for 2-3 minutes or until they start to get some caramelizing color. Add the garlic and saute one minute, stirring often to prevent it from burning (or it will become bitter). Add the chicken stock and thyme and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook, covered for about 30 minutes or until the squash is tender. With an immersion blender, puree the soup in the pot until smooth. If using a food processor or blender, let the soup cool a bit before processing. Adjust the consistency to your liking with extra water. Salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish as desired.

Herb and Gruyere Scones (from DesignSponge)


3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely ground yellow cornmeal
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
½ pound Gruyere cheese, grated
½ cup chopped herbs (I like thyme and chives)
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, beaten


Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper. Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cayenne pepper, and salt together into the bowl of a stand mixer.
Add cornmeal and whisk together.
Add the butter to the dry ingredients, and, using the paddle attachment, beat on low speed until butter is the size of small peas.
Add the Gruyere and herbs and mix just until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Put the buttermilk and cream together in one bowl or liquid measuring cup, and then slowly add to the mixture on low speed until it is just combined and there is a little flour left on the bottom of the bowl. You may not need all of the liquid (I only used about 2/3 of it)!
Empty the contents of the bowl onto a floured surface.
Pat the dough together and work in any pieces of dry dough.
Sprinkle some flour on the top of the dough, and, either using a rolling pin or just your hands, press the dough until it is about 1 ½ inches thick.
Using a circular cookie cutter, dipped in a little flour each time, cut out the scones.
Feel free to roll any scraps together and cut those, too.
(Alternatively, you can shape the mound of dough into a rectangle about 9 by 6 inches, divide the dough in half lengthwise, and then cut each piece into 6 even triangles.)
Place scones onto prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
Brush the beaten egg onto the tops of the scones and bake for about 30 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through, or until light brown on top.

Yields about 12 smaller scones or 6 big scones.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cheesy Rotisserie Chicken & Bowties

Cheesy Rotisserie Chicken & Bowties (from She's Becoming DoughMessTic)
makes 6 to 8 servings

  • Store bought rotisserie chicken, chopped or pulled into pieces
  • One standard box Bow Tie Pasta (or, in my case, half a bag of veggie spirals)
  • 1 bag shredded cheese (I used taco flavor, but any strong cheese will do)
  • 1/2 Sweet onion, diced
  • 1 Pepper, any color (I used orange this time)
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom (regular size)
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken (regular size)
  • 4 Tbsp. Melted Butter
  • 1 tsp dried cilantro (I didn't have any in the house, so I used poultry seasoning instead. I realize that it's a completely different spice, but it worked.)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325.
Cook pasta in water and can of chicken broth until nearly done.
You will be baking this pasta, so take care not to over cook it now.
Reserve a cup of the broth from the pasta to add in to the mixture.
In large bowl, combine the broth, chicken, cheese, peppers, onions, melted butter, both creams, salt, pepper & cilantro.
Stir it well and pour it in a large baking dish.
Bake covered
at 325 for 45 minutes.

We served it with biscuits. I considered adding a ritz topping, but wanted to try the recipe as it was (basically) first. Next time, I'll definitely add a topping for a little extra oomph.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Irish Chicken & Dumplings

I was very pleased with the results on this one. The house smelled irresistible by the time it was nearly ready, and the taste lived up. It was great Sunday evening comfort food. Of course, anything with a stick of butter is pretty much guaranteed to satisfy in our household. We added a little shredded cheese on top too. It wasn't necessary, but it was delicious.

Irish Chicken & Dumplings (from She's Becoming DoughMessTic)

1 large can Cream of Chicken or Mushroom Soup
4 Boneless Chicken Breasts, cut up
1 bag frozen peas & carrot mix
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
6 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cans crescent roll dough, butter flavor
1 stick butter
salt & pepper to taste
other seasonings, to taste

Boil chicken and onion until tender, about 30 minutes.
Don't drain. Add cream of chicken and butter, seasonings and potatoes.
Reduce heat to low-medium and cook for 20-30 minutes
Add peas & carrots, continue to cook for 10 minutes, then add crescent rolls, torn into medium to large pieces and cook until dough is cooked through (this takes a while -maybe half an hour).

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken & Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Creme Fraiche (from Joy of Baking)


1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon buttermilk
Note: If possible, use pasteurized heavy whipping cream, as ultra pasteurized will take longer to thicken. (Mine must hve been ultra-pasturized, because it definitely took it's time!)

In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm the cream to 105 degrees F (40 degrees C).
Remove from heat and stir in the buttermilk.
Transfer the cream to a large bowl and allow this mixture to stand in a warm place, loosely covered with plastic wrap, until thickened but still of pouring consistency.
Stir and taste every 6 - 8 hours.
This process takes anywhere from 24 to 36 hours, depending on your room temperature.
The creme fraiche is ready when it is thick with a slightly nutty sour taste.
Chill cream, in the refrigerator, for several hours before using.
Creme fraiche may be made and stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Roasted Garlic and Herb Creme Fraiche (from What We're Eating, as are the following recipes)

4 large cloves roasted garlic
1/4 cup creme fraiche
1 tsp fresh tarragon (optional)
1 fresh sage leaf
1/2 cup fresh chives
juice from 1 small lemon
kosher salt
fresh finely ground white pepper (optional)

Add all ingredients except kosher salt into the bowl of a blender. Blend at a high speed until sauce is completely pulverized to for a silky smooth puree.
Strain herbed creme fraiche through a fine mesh sieve to remove any leftover larger chunks.
Adjust the seasoning of the sauce to taste with kosher salt and, if desired, freshly ground white pepper. Enjoy!

Whipped Sweet Potatoes

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled & chopped in 1" cubes
3 tbsp butter
1/3 cup whole milk, plus extra if necessary (amount will vary as size of the potatoes vary) (I used cream instead... because I had that or skim milk)
kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper
juice from 1/2 a lemon (I thought this was what made this dish perfect)
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat.
Once the water has reached a boil, add the sweet potato cubes.
Boil potatoes until tender, about 10 minutes.
To test the done-ness, stab a potato with a butter knife - if the potato is easily pierced and slides right off, the potatoes are done.
While the potatoes are boiling, add the milk and butter to a bowl of a stand mixer or to a large mixing bowl.
Drain the potatoes than add them to the bowl with the milk and butter. If using a stand mixer or hand-beater, whip the potatoes at a medium-low speed until smooth and fluffy, adding more milk if necessary to achieve a smooth but moist texture. If using a potato masher, mash until smooth, adding more milk as necessary.
Add lemon juice and a small pinch of salt and pepper to the potatoes.
Stir to combine.
Taste the potatoes. Adjust the seasoning as desired with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Serve immediately.

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Breasts

1/3 lb thinly sliced proscuitto ham
4 small chicken breasts
3 tbsp canola oil (or other flavorless oil)
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees with a rack placed in the middle of the oven.
Liberally season all areas of the chicken breasts with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Wrap thin slices of proscuitto around the seasoned breasts, covering nearly all surface area with the ham.
Heat a large oven-safe saute pan over medium high heat.
Add canola oil to the pan.
Let the oil heat for about 2 minutes or until there are small ripples in the oil but before it begins to smoke.
Place the chicken breasts into the pan with the proscuitto seam-side-up.
Allow the chicken to cook, undisturbed, for approximately 3-4 minutes or until the proscuitto has released itself from the pan and is evenly browned.
Flip the chicken and place the pan onto the rack positioned in the middle of the oven.
Bake the breasts for approximately 15 minutes or until breast are just cooked through.
Remove from oven and allow breasts to rest for at least 7 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

I added fried okra (I just bought the frozen stuff, already breaded and ready to go) and biscuits (again, I went with the canned stuff, because there were some great coupons last week). Then there were madelines from The Gourmet Cookbook for dessert. As I'm headed out of town for a few days and leaving Mr. L to fend for himself, I thought I should end on a good note. ;)